Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kindle Pilot

I relied heavily on the work of Buffy Hamilton and EduKindle in setting these up. It wasn't difficult, but it was time-consuming and I needed to do it when the library was quiet so I could concentrate.

We bought 6 Kindles (basic model for $69.00, see proposal). Six is a magic number; you can register multiple devices in one amazon account, but you can generally only copy a title onto six machines. We numbered each Kindle with sticky notes "ES Kindle 1" and so forth. I forgot to get the serial numbers off the boxes and could not read them even with a magnifying glass. That stressed me out, but it ended up ok since the serial numbers show up in the registration process.

I labeled each case, cord, and quick-start guide with the Kindle number. They will circulate with the case and guide, but not the cord. We will loan them fully charged. This is on the advice of others; we'll see how it goes.

Working with PO's
I submitted a PO for the total cost of Kindle titles I wanted and followed that up with a google doc of each title's link in amazon. The purchasing officer "gifted" each title to my email address. I created a Kindle amazon account for the ES library Kindles with my school email address and a password. I redeemed each gift and added the title to a gift-tracking spreadsheet.

Registering and Adding titles
I registered each Kindle from the device itself (Home > Set Up > Use Existing Account) using the account email and password I had set up in amazon. As each device was registered, I added its serial number to the sticky note and edited its name under "Manage your devices" on amazon so that it matched our naming system.

Choosing "Books" in my Kindle library on amazon, I saw the list of the books I had redeemed. As each Kindle got registered, the titles showed up on the device under "Archives". I moved these out of the archive via wifi, and set the titles to show alphabetically.

I tracked each title added in a google doc so we'd have a spreadsheet telling us what is on each device. The google doc can easily become a QR code and link on the library website for handy reference. I also added it to the cataloging, but more on that later. I'm not exactly sure what other ways we'll use this tracking information, but others have advised doing it, so I'm following their suggestions.

Note: The time-consuming part of the registration was due to the rudimentary keyboard on the Kindles. Typing the user access code and password to log in to the school's wifi, plus typing in the account email and password was the most annoying part of the process. I put on some NPR in the background and got into the zone.

Once all of the Kindles were registered and loaded with our first batch of titles, I did the cataloging.

First I created the title record. I found a range of barcodes that were "fresh". This way, each new Kindle we add will somewhat match its barcode: for example, ES Kindle 1 has barcode 600001. First I added the title record. I called it ES Kindle 1-6. In the title record, I included some rules and a link to the spreadsheet showing the titles on these six devices. When we get our next set of six, I'll add a new title record for them. (Yes, there's a typo in the record below; I've since fixed it! A coffee on me if you can find it.)

Title Record (Includes link to see titles on these devices and rules for use)

Title Record in Quest (not all information shows)  

Next, I added the six devices as copies
The call numbers match the device name (ES Kindle 1, ES Kindle 2 and so forth), their sub-location is "Circulation Desk" so users know to ask at the desk, and the copy information includes the serial number and the link to the spreadsheet showing what titles are on that device.

All Copies Record (shows all copies under Kindle 1-6 Record)

Single Copy Record (shows serial number, link to titles)

Next, I added the e-book titles.
I duplicated existing titles and changed them to e-books. The titles show as e-books with the little icon to help users see that it's not a print book. I added "Kindle" to the subject, and I included a note in the summary to remind users to check availability of the Kindles, not the book title. (Others have talked about some difficulty with patrons holding these e-book titles. We will have to talk with students a lot about this. If they want to hold a title to read on a Kindle, they have to hold a KINDLE.)

I added one copy of each title and gave it a call number to show which devices have the title. So under Breadcrumbs, the call number says ES KIN 1-6 to show that it's on ES Kindles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. I also added "Circulation Desk" to the sub-location as a reminder to check for the Kindles there. 

E-book Record

AND....we're ready to roll! Kids will be bringing in their permission forms to get cleared for check-out. Let's hope all goes smoothly!

Thanks for reading. If you have Kindle experiences to share, please write a comment!


  1. Wow! Very impressed! Thanks for posting your experiences - it's very motivating and keeps us from having to re-invent the wheel!

  2. I can't wait to hear how that goes! We have about 60 ipods that we check out with books on them. However, the way it goes in Itunes is that you can have the books on a computer and download them one at a time onto different ipods. So I don't have to have one copy of the book per ipod (we could never afford it!). I have been debating about kindles because I wasn't sure how to manage it. Thanks so much for posting!